FIFA suspends Pakistan Football Federation’s membership

Pakistan national football team

FIFA has suspended Pakistan Football Federation’s membership due to “undue third-party interference” as the federation’s offices and its accounts remain in control of a court-appointed administrator.

The PFF’s membership was suspended last Wednesday with immediate effect in accordance with the decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council.

PFF offices and its accounts remain in control of a court-appointed administrator, which constitutes a violation of the PFF obligations to manage its affairs independently and without influence from any third parties in accordance with the FIFA Statutes, the governing body said.

Following its suspension, the PFF has lost all its membership rights as defined in article 13 of the FIFA Statutes.

The PFF’s national and affiliated club teams are no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted.

This also means that neither the PFF nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any development programmes, courses or training from FIFA, or the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

The PFF dispute began after a controversial election of the Punjab Football Association (PFA) in April 2015 that saw the country’s football governing body split into two factions heading into its presidential poll.

PFF leader Faisal Saleh Hayaat

With both factions heading into elections, the Lahore High Court (LHC) intervened and ordered a stay on the elections but the “Hayat Group” went ahead and conducted the election in the presence of an AFC observer.

It was a move that saw the LHC appoint an administrator to control the PFF affairs until the matter was resolved.

 

Meanwhile, FIFA gave the PFF faction led by Faisal Saleh Hayat a two-year mandate to ratify statutes and hold fresh elections in September 2015.

However, PFF factions being involved in a legal battle meant the elections could not happen.

The elected president of PFF, Faisal Saleh Hayat, lamented over the suspension, calling it “bad news” for football in Pakistan.

Mr Hayat told Geo News: “The suspension has put our footballers’ future in danger. This is bad news. Now our players won’t be able to play internationally and even our domestic football will suffer…it will suffer badly.

“I tried whatever I could. I approached [authorities], I even appealed to [former prime minister] Nawaz Sharif to take note of the interference, but despite all my efforts, the situation could not be resolved, unfortunately.

“I now appeal to the Chief of Army Staff to help resolve this.”

The PFF chief further said that the 2018 FIFA World Cup trophy, which was expected to stop over in Pakistan on next February during its global tour, may not come here at all following the latest development.

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